I recently asked y’all to share with me what comes to mind when you hear the term “Plantation Magic”, in reference to “southern heritage magic”. Before you ask, no this is not a very common term, but it is one I’ve recently come across and it made me think about the way we, often as white witches, discuss the magickal traditions of people of colour.
You can read more about what prompted this discussion here: #WITCHNBITCH Topic: “Plantation Magic”
I got a lot of great responses, some of which will be showing up in an up-coming episode of the podcast! Though a few of you tried to find a positive connotation to the term, most of the responses made it clear that the term made them uneasy or was out right offensive. Do you agree?
As a Black witch in the South, I have to say that was incredibly offensive, that entry. Everything, EVERYTHING, about the South was built on the bloody exploitation of Black (and now Brown) bodies. To exorcise us out of the magic… well. I’ll say this and leave it. There’s not a bit of so-called Southern magic performed, then or now, that doesn’t brush up against the unresting spirits of Black enslaved folk. – Asali of Asali Earthwork
I think that the connotations with this phrase, even if they are in good faith, are too much for people to accept. I hesitate to use the phrase “too soon” but I think it’s appropriate. – LilithDorsey on Instagram
I’ve never heard the term, but I can understand that it could be useful when talking about magic in a historical context. My first reaction is that it sounds a bit sanitized. Like these magical practices came out of people living happily on plantations, when that’s not the reality. Slavery in America drastically changed magical practices for millions of people – being forced to mix with other African cultures, being forced to convert to Christianity, the hardships of slavery, being in a drastically different ecosystem with different plants, and the need to hide traditions from the slave owners – all blended together to make a new magical practice. This is an important piece of history that still affects people today, and it should me talked about. But maybe with a different term. – FlyingFoxTarot on Instagram
I’m not sure exactly what it is, so if it’s like what everyone else says they think it is (magick to protect slaves), I apologize. But I raise an eyebrow anytime people start parading around with southern heritage. “Southern Heritage Witchcraft” sounds like something white supremacist witches made up or will hijack. I can’t seem to find any sources that thoroughly discuss it, so it’s very hard to make judgement of it – Pagan_Mystic on Instagram
New to my ears, too, but I’m sure the term was used to explain magical traditions that originated, or, more likely, entered into American awareness, from the enslaved population living on Southern plantations. A lot of people carried traditions from Yoruba and other African and Afro-Carribean cultures to the US. – michelecacano
You’re more than welcome to share your thoughts on this issue with me on social media using the hashtag #witchnbitch!